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UConn Rallies, Ties Engineers

Schenectady Daily Gazette, October 11, 2004

OMAHA, Neb. - For the second straight year, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Connecticut battled to a tie.

This time around, it was the Engineers who blew a third-period lead.

Mike Neilon and Brian Burns scored in the third Sunday, rallying the Huskies to a 3-3 draw with the Engineers in the consolation game of the Mutual of Omaha Stampede at the Qwest Center.

The Huskies earned third place by winning the shootout, 2-1. Neilon scored in the second round of sudden death after the teams battled to a 1-1 tie in the first five attempts. Because the NCAA doesnít recognize shootouts, the game goes down as a tie.

In the Oct. 17 last year at Houston Field House, the Engineers overcame a 4-1 deficit in the third period by scoring three times for a 4-4 tie.

After falling behind Sunday, 1-0, on Matthew Schererís first-period goal, the Engineers (0-1-1) took the lead in the second period.

Chris Hussey scored his second goal of the season at 8:13, tying the game at 1-1. Kevin Croxton gave RPI the lead 3:21 later with a power-play goal. Matt McNeelyís power-play goal at 17:09 made it 3-1.

Neilon started UConnís rally with a goal at 7:18 of the third. Burns tied it on a power-play goal with 5:34 left.

RPI outshot UConn (0-1-1), 7-0, in overtime. But goalie Brad Smith, who relieved injured starter Scott Tomes in the second period, stopped all the shots.

The fourth-place showing marks the third straight tournament that RPI has finished last. The Engineers have finished fourth in their own holiday tournament the last two years.

Notebook

The Engineers and Huskies will face each other again in RPIís home opener at 7 p.m. Saturday. . . .

RPI freshman goalie Jordan Alford made his debut. He made 26 saves, including 15 in the third period. . . .

There were 26 penalties in the game for 63 minutes. RPI freshman forward Andrew Lord was given a game misconduct late in the first period after receiving a five-minute major for checking from behind. The teams combined for 21 power-play attempts.